February 1, 2009

Features of the Aquia Line

I have decided to model the Aquia-Fredericksburg line during the 1863 campaign, probably during winter when the Army of the Potomac was in winter quarters. During this period the USMRR was in regular operations under TT&TO from Aquia to Falmouth (just north of Fredericksburg). The car ferry from Alexandria was in service. The Adams Express company was also operating on the line for LCL packages to soldiers and sutlers.

The whole line is just about 8 miles long, there were two stations, Stoneman and Falmouth, plus Aquia harbor. (Actually, there may have been a station at Brooke too, since that was a stop of the RF&P and VRE today, but I haven't found any reference to it in the ACW literature so far). Photos of the harbor and Stonemans are available. I haven't found any of Falmouth yet.

I was very excited to find this map that confirms my suspicions on the location of the Burnside's Wharf, note that this map shows a second railroad spur south of the original wharf.

This detail from the map shows the location of Burnside Wharf downstream of the main wharf. I annotated it in red.

The Potomac Creek bridge was rebuilt in this time period from a pole trestle to a set of three arched trusses placed on the existing piers. Since there are plenty of other trestles on the layout, I thought this would provide an interesting change. The corn stalk-bean pole was a famous bridge but was destroyed the first time the Union withdrew.


vice this:
New information has come to light that this is the fourth trestle to be built at Potomac Creek during the war. The line was repaired during the Wilderness campaign and used to withdraw wounded and supply the army.

The harbor was much larger during this period (compared to under McDowell in 1862), but not so large that I wouldn't be able to do it justice, even in O scale. The piers will probably be about 6 ft long in O scale. And I plan to build several ships to dock along side. I always liked the sail-to-steam transition, so having lots of ships around is a plus for me. The forest of masts effect is what I am going for, although I may need to paint some on the back drop to achieve it.

The caption for this shot at the LoC says this is Aquia Harbor, but I think it is mislabeled, as the piers at Aquia did not have hills alongside.. I think this is City Point. But it shows the "forest of masts" effect I am going for.

This photo shows tracks along the edge of the pier with planking in-between the rails and around the turnout frog.

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